22nd March 2001
The Muslim Council of Britain welcomed the Rt. Hon. William Hague MP, Leader of HM Opposition at a reception organised at the Islamic Cultural Centre, Regent’s Park, London.
The MCB Secretary General, Mr Yousuf Bhailok said in his welcome address “When we look into the future of Britain we don’t see a foreign country, we see our home, the country in which we invested our lives, our best hopes and endeavours.” He continued “There’s a much bigger picture beyond emotive slogans, headlines and political speechifying about asylum seekers and immigration. It calls for a conscientious and consistent message from political leaders. The issues of asylum and immigration are matters of principle, tests of the quality of our compassion. Fundamental values are the basis of our obligations, willingly undertaken, to genuine asylum seekers and immigrants.”
The Secretary General emphasised “As an organisation we passionately believe in the future of Britain, a Britain the looks and sounds like all its people. Our desire is the long held ambition of British society as a whole: to see a real representative democracy, inclusive and drawing on the abilities of all its people. A nation that nurtures, develops and values all its citizens. Racial tensions, religious, as well as ethnic prejudice and discrimination deforms any society, because it deforms the proper, legitimate life chances and dignity of those who suffer it. It demeans and diminishes those who practice it, for whatever motive,” Mr Bhailok concluded.
Mr Hague told the gathered members of affiliate organisations of the MCB and guests from all over the country including diplomats that a Conservative government would ‘restore the recognition of marriage in the tax system and help mothers who stay at home to look after their children with a new transferable Married Couples Allowance’.
Mr Hague also stated that he wished to see ‘more Muslim members joining our party, Conservative Muslims elected to the House of Commons and more Conservative Muslim Peers.’ Mr Hague mentioned the setting up of the Office of Civil Society, Faith based schools and the retention of Section 28 on the Statute Book.
“We are heartened to hear that Mr Hague is determined to ensure that Muslims take part in the Conservative Party at all levels,” said Mr Bhailok. “We would now like to see concrete steps taken to make this vision a reality. Too often have Muslim prospective parliamentary candidates been placed in unwinnable seats.”
“In addition, Mr Hague’s championing of the institution of marriage is warmly welcomed by the Muslim community. Mr Hague’s commitment to restore the recognition of marriage in the tax system and the help he promised married mothers with young children are all laudable initiatives which will be greatly appreciated by many people,” said Mr Yousuf Bhailok.